The Kidderminster Harriers boss, Stuart Watkiss, saw his ideal starting eleven crash to a 2-0 defeat at St Georges Lane tonight. With the start of the new season getting ever near he should have expected a more fighting display from his side but what he got was far from that.
We should have taken the lead from an Iyseden Christie header less that a minute into the game but without any power in it Danny McDonnell in the City goal was never in any trouble catching it. The Reds then went on to give a controlled display of passing football for the rest of the first half without threatening the Worcester goal again.
Harriers were given a warning from City when the former Harriers player, Les Hines, hit the crossbar with a drive from well outside the area. It all went quiet then for the next 20 minutes of the half before the City old timer, Des Lyttle, scored from close in after a corner was missed by the Harriers defence to leave us exposed and Lyttle able to collect the ball, turn and shoot past the hapless John Danby.
Harriers continued to try and pass their way back into the game but failed to score the goal their neat approach play deserved. Lee Thompson sent the ball over the bar from long range and Christie had two more chances to score but sent his shots wide both times.
The second half was more of the same and still we couldn't get near to scoring. Thompson sent a shot wide from the edge of the penalty area, Terry Fleming had a shot blocked on the line by Des Lyttle and Christie had another weak attempt on goal that O'Donnell saved easily.
The best chance of a goal for us came from Gareth Sheldon in the last quarter when he collected a pass from Mark Jackson and sent in a curling shot that O'Donnell saved well.
With just a few minutes to go City increased their lead and put all thoughts of a comeback out of the minds of the Harriers faithful. A long ball from a City defender went over the top of the Harriers middle and straight to Leon Kelly who then out-paced Wayne Hatswell to get in behind him and fire an un-stoppable shot past John Danby.
They could easily have added a third goal before the final whistle went when Kelly was again given all the time in the world to get a shot in. Danby came out for it but Kelly slipped past him only to see Mark Jackson running across the face of goal to deny him.
The second defeat in a row in this series of friendlies left us feeling more down than the defeat by Walsall last week. Although it was a meaningless friendly pride was at stake here.
Final score: Worcester City 2 Harriers 0.
Danby, Evans, Hatswell, O'Connor, Jackson, Burgess, Sheldon, Fleming, Christie, Thompson, Blackwood.
McDonnell, Warner, Hines, C Smith, Khan (Woolley 76), Lyttle, Clegg (McDonald 61), Stanley (Warmer 65), Kelly, Colley, Preece (J Smith 89). Subs not used: Jones, Hubball, Skyers.